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May 24, 2024

Researchers describe spin-boson systems to configure quantum devices

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics, quantum physics

In a new publication in Physical Review Letters, researchers in Amsterdam demonstrate a way to describe spin-boson systems and use this to efficiently configure in a desired state.

Quantum devices use the quirky behavior of quantum particles to perform tasks that go beyond what “classical” machines can do, including quantum computing, simulation, sensing, communication and metrology. These devices can take many forms, such as a collection of superconducting circuits, or a lattice of atoms or ions held in place by lasers or electric fields.

Regardless of their physical realization, quantum devices are typically described in simplified terms as a collection of interacting two-level or spins. However, these spins also interact with other things in their surroundings, such as light in superconducting circuits or oscillations in the lattice of atoms or ions. Particles of light (photons) and vibrational modes of a lattice (phonons) are examples of bosons.

May 24, 2024

How a world record ‘squeeze’ could offer comfort for dark matter hunters

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics, quantum physics

UNSW quantum engineers have developed a new amplifier that could help other scientists search for elusive dark matter particles.

May 24, 2024

Unlocking the secrets of supercritical fluids: Study offers insights into a hybrid state of matter

Posted by in category: futurism

A study now published in Nature Communications brings remarkable insights into the enigmatic behavior of supercritical fluids, a hybrid state of matter occupying a unique space between liquids and gases, and arising in domains that go from the pharmaceutical industry to planetary science. The obtained results are at the limit of current experimental possibilities and could only be obtained in a high flux neutron source such as the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL).

May 24, 2024

New discoveries about the nature of light could improve methods for heating fusion plasma

Posted by in category: space

Both literally and figuratively, light pervades the world. It banishes darkness, conveys telecommunications signals between continents and makes visible the invisible, from faraway galaxies to the smallest bacterium. Light can also help heat the plasma within ring-shaped devices known as tokamaks as scientists worldwide strive to harness the fusion process to generate green electricity.

May 24, 2024

NASA Supercomputer Solves 400-Year-Old Solar Magnetic Puzzle

Posted by in categories: space, supercomputing

A new study reveals the sun’s magnetic field originates closer to the surface, solving a 400-year-old mystery first probed by Galileo and enhancing solar storm forecasting.

An international team of researchers, including Northwestern University engineers, is getting closer to solving a 400-year-old solar mystery that stumped even famed astronomer Galileo Galilei.

Since first observing the sun’s magnetic activity, astronomers have struggled to pinpoint where the process originates. Now, after running a series of complex calculations on a NASA supercomputer, the researchers discovered the magnetic field is generated about 20,000 miles below the sun’s surface.

May 24, 2024

Cosmic Ray Sheds New Light on 7,000-Year-Old Ancient Greek Settlement

Posted by in category: habitats

Researchers used dendrochronology and a radiocarbon spike from 5,259 BC to date a prehistoric Greek settlement to over 7,000 years ago. This new method enables precise dating for other Southeast European archaeological sites.

Researchers at the University of Bern have, for the first time, precisely dated a prehistoric settlement of early farmers in northern Greece to over 7,000 years ago. They achieved this by combining annual growth ring measurements on wooden building elements with a significant spike in cosmogenic radiocarbon dating to 5,259 BC. This method provides a reliable chronological reference point for numerous other archaeological sites in Southeast Europe.

Dating finds plays a key role in archaeology. It is always essential to find out how old a tomb, settlement, or single object is. Determining the age of finds from prehistoric times has only been possible for a few decades. Two methods are used for this: dendrochronology, which enables dating on the basis of sequences of annual rings in trees, and radiocarbon dating, which can calculate the approximate age of the finds by the decay rate of the radioactive carbon isotope 14 C contained in the tree rings.

May 24, 2024

Fresh Data From the Cosmos: NASA’s Voyager 1 Resumes Sending Science Data From 15 Billion Miles Away

Posted by in categories: computing, science

Voyager 1, after overcoming a computer issue, has resumed sending scientific data from two of its instruments, with plans to recalibrate the remaining two soon. This marks significant progress in restoring the spacecraft, which is over 15 billion miles from Earth and requires over 22 hours for communications to travel one way.

NASA ’s Voyager 1 has resumed returning science data from two of its four instruments for the first time since November 2023, when a computer issue arose with the spacecraft. The mission’s science instrument teams are now determining steps to recalibrate the remaining two instruments, which will likely occur in the coming weeks. The achievement marks significant progress toward restoring the spacecraft to normal operations.

Progress in Troubleshooting.

May 24, 2024

Promethium Discovery Set to Rewrite Chemistry Textbooks

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, space travel

Scientists have made a significant breakthrough in understanding the properties of promethium, a rare earth element with elusive characteristics despite its use in modern technology.

Researchers have uncovered the properties of a rare earth element that was first discovered 80 years ago at the very same laboratory. Their discoveries open a new pathway for the exploration of elements critical in modern technology, from medicine to space travel.

Continue reading “Promethium Discovery Set to Rewrite Chemistry Textbooks” »

May 24, 2024

Ultra-Thin Crystals Unlock New Possibilities in Electronics and Quantum Computing

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

In a study published in Nature Materials, scientists from the University of California, Irvine describe a new method to make very thin crystals of the element bismuth – a process that may aid in making the manufacturing of cheap flexible electronics an everyday reality.

“Bismuth has fascinated scientists for over a hundred years due to its low melting point and unique electronic properties,” said Javier Sanchez-Yamagishi, assistant professor of physics & astronomy at UC Irvine and a co-author of the study. “We developed a new method to make very thin crystals of materials such as bismuth, and in the process reveal hidden electronic behaviors of the metal’s surfaces.”

The bismuth sheets the team made are only a few nanometers thick. Sanchez-Yamagishi explained how theorists have predicted that bismuth contains special electronic states allowing it to become magnetic when electricity flows through it – something essential for quantum electronic devices based on the magnetic spin of electrons.

May 24, 2024

New Plant-Based Plastic Releases 9 Times Less Microplastics

Posted by in category: materials

Recent research shows that plant-based plastics release far fewer microplastics than traditional plastics in marine environments, suggesting they could be a more environmentally friendly option. However, continued research is crucial to fully assess their impact.

A recent study has discovered that a new plant-based plastic material releases nine times fewer microplastics compared to traditional plastic when subjected to sunlight and seawater. Conducted by researchers from the University of Portsmouth and the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) in Belgium, the study examined the degradation of two different types of plastic under harsh conditions.

A bio-based plastic material made from natural feedstocks held up better when exposed to intense UV light and seawater for 76 days — the equivalent of 24 months of sun exposure in central Europe — than a conventional plastic made from petroleum derivatives.

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